An ArmaLite sales rep started a kerfuffle recently when he responded to an emailer in, shall we say, a less than courteous manner. The emailer had asked what ArmaLite’s position would be vis-à-vis selling to government entities and LEOs in states where citizens are prohibited from owning the company’s guns. See the rude retort here. Sensing trouble brewing and wanting to avoid another Cheaper Than Dirt-style shitstorm, ArmaLite president Mark Westrom issued the following press release which we got via ar15.com after ArmaLite shut down their Facebook page . . .
Thanks for posting this email. I just received a concerned telephone call about it, an email from the staffer who stimulated the mail.
I think a bit of clarification is in order.
The root of the matter is a HUGE series of inquiries by both email and telephone asking ArmaLite to cut off sales to New York and other states which deny its citizens the right to own our rifles, as several other firms have done. Some of the contacts have been duplicates of others and some were so redundant that they appeared to be spam. Many of them have been rude and I’m afraid one of my staffers thought that he was responding to a spammer and was more terse than he should have been. Once he realized what happened he came to me and apologized.
My purpose here is to pass on his apology from the corporate level and to answer the initial question: What is ArmaLite going to do?
ArmaLite is continuing a policy put into place when California first banned our rifles. That policy remains:
1. We will not sell to those states which deny it’s honorable citizens the right to own ArmaLite’s.
2. We do not halt sales to individual officers even in problematic states. I am a former Police Officer myself, and the staffer who stimulated the recent anger is a currently serving one. We are well familiar with the fact that most rifles serving Police Officers are purchased by the officers themselves, and that they shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their political elite.
We consider sales to those sate subdivisions which are not engaged or potentially engaged with disarming its citizens. DNR and Forestry Departments, for instance, sometimes serve in remote areas that conceal drug farms and their officers deserve good hardware.
3. We will not sell to those lower political subdivisions that deny their honorable citizens the right to own ArmaLite’s. Chicago, for instance, prohibits its citizens from owning ArmaLite’s within the city limits so we make no effort to sell into that city. We have many friends on the Chicago Police Department and have continued to sell to them individually.
Our observation is that most County Sheriffs disagree with banning sales of our rifles and many publicly refuse to enforce such laws. We sell to those departments and to their Deputies, but will not sell to those County departments headed by Sheriffs who would deny their citizens the same rights.
In short, Americans need not worry that ArmaLite is selling to those who betray them.
As you can see by reading posts on the topic, some readers have been harsh with their criticism of ArmaLite. It was in response to this atmosphere that my staffer reacted harshly. He’s come to me and apologized and I personally am passing my own apology along with his.
But don’t be mistaken, ArmaLite is strongly involved with both personal, corporate, and political efforts at the State, National, and International level to protect our civil rights. And we’ll continue to support your shooting needs as the situation moves forward.